25 August 2016

Marvin and Ranelle {Engaged}

It doesn't seem real at all...! My sister is getting married!!! πŸ˜† Like soon! πŸ˜„
I'm so excited for Marvin and Ranelle, and I appreciate their relationship with God and with each other so much! When I grow up, I want to be just like them! ☺️ ...oh wait... 😝

Hehe, anyway, they got engaged in July when our Campmeeting at Monark was going on, and so I got to take engagement pictures for them! :)








Personally, this picture would show you why I enjoyed my evening taking pictures  so much! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š







Look at those horses running around in the background!! πŸ˜„



-MarLeahJoy

 
 







 


 

14 August 2016

Enjoy Life



This last week hasn't been perfect in a natural sense, but it's actually been as close to perfect as everyday life can get. ;) Anytime the Lord talks to you personally, it gives quite a refreshment and uplift to your spirit!

Actually, the things I'm going to mention today aren't even half of the things the Lord has encouraged or helped me through this week. 



Green Sands Beach, Hawaii - April 2016

We heard about bearing fruit with patience today in church service.
Which was just what I needed, both spiritually and temporally... Because I had actually been asking the Lord to bless me with some patience this week. :P
It was brought out that patience is part "you wanting it really hard", and part "God's gift to us."
One of the areas where we can help ourself in patience is to envision the very end goal that we are reaching for. No matter what circumstances come along or what anyone else says, as long as you keep the vision, then you have no reason to give up or fail! Just keep going on!! :)



Kona, Hawaii - April 2016

I've always loved the book of Ecclesiastes, and this week I came to love it even more! :)
It's such a completely different book than any other book in the bible. In some respects, it almost seems to give a lot of contradiction to the rest of the bible, but honestly it's just completing everything else and giving a well rounded view on life.

One of the places I opened up to first was Chapter 11
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."

I've heard "casting your bread upon the water" with several different meanings... all in the light of making an investment. Maybe an investment into gaining other souls for the kingdom, or maybe making a personal investment for our own souls. 
But the commentary on these verses says that it's actually talking about literally investing money or goods.
Here's what my commentary says about  Chapter 11 and verses 1-6.
"These verses focus on making sound investments. It may seem odd that the Bible has such teachings, but much of Proverbs is concerned with advice on how to avoid poverty by prudent action. Most of us need a certain degree of prosperity in order to have a good life, and the advice here is valuable for both ancient and modern readers.
Verses 1-2: These verses deal with financial investment, not charity. The phrase 'bread upon the waters' refers to investing in overseas trading ventures, which may result in a return on the investment. The words 'seven' or 'eight' refers to diversifying one's investments."

So anyone who knows me well... knows that I get my little nerd glasses on when it comes to investing money. 
Well, sadly this year has kind of got me off track, and I've lost my vision about investing. I've been trying to get back on... and, you know what...? The Lord has actually been talking to me through many different verses in the bible this week about having wisdom with my money. I won't bore you with the verses, but they are found in Proverbs, just like the commentary mentioned.
It was sooo, so much of an encouragement to me that God would guide me to those verses. It gave me the little extra boost and challenge I needed to keep on track with my finances. Also, I have no human understanding as to what to do for my life in preparation for anything. And I mean anything! God understands my life and the path before me, and I'm grateful for the little nudge he gave me to be sure to stay on track with my financial goals. So, If he has opened up some scriptures to me this week about planning financially, then I am certain that he will order and take care of the rest. Because to be honest, I would tend to personally say that, financial wisdom is the least important of all other wisdom in the whole scope of things. But yet it DOES hold a degree of importance. ...And God has shown me that he cares to guide me in that area! 😊 May I listen and take heed in this area and others -- so that He can bless! 



Hilo, Hawaii - April 2016

Have I told you I loved Ecclesiastes yet...? ;) 

Well the next thought the Lord has blessed me so much with is from parts of Chapters 8 and 9... about enjoying the life the Lord has given us.

Once again, I'll share what my bible's commentary has to say about this part of the book: "This does not involve neglect of other duties, because there is a time for everything under the sun. But a life without enjoyment is no life at all."

It was just what I needed to read to finish off all the things I've been pondering and musing over this week. Basically reading this I just felt the Lord smiling at me and saying, "I love you, and I care!" :)


-MarLeahJoy







09 August 2016

I Crashed


Lately, I've been feeling this extra connection to nature... and an extra desire (than normal) to capture it. So yesterday evening, I loaded up my camera pack, grabbed the dog, and set out on my bike to go find me a pretty spot in the country to watch the sunset. I had made it up the first major hill and was going down a little incline and somehow totally wiped out on my bike. Oopsie... Hehe! I walked home because my bike was in no condition to ride after that... Not to mention my knee and hand.
I cleaned up pretty fast and decided I should just drive out to the countryside and hopefully be in time to catch the sunset anyway... because something inside just told me that it would probably be a beautiful one. πŸ˜Š

Go here to watch the video I made from the evening...




I wanted to include a clip of myself doing a cartwheel in the video... :P But then I looked at my hand... and at the pavement... πŸ˜ Hmmm, maybe not smart. But then I thought, "Eh, it can't hurt too much more than it already does." πŸ˜­


These pictures don't even begin to do justice to the beautiful sunset...


And to think that God paints us a new one each evening!


It did me a lot of good to just spend some time outside enjoying it! :)


For most of an hour, I stayed stationed just right by the fence watching the colors change and the clouds morph and mold.



Just an old country road, but it brings me much peace. :)

-MarLeahJoy

06 August 2016

355


I'm blogging twice today... because I'm editing my sister's engagement photos and my heart is overflowing with love!!

Love for my sister and her fiancΓ©!
Love for love!
Love for their pictures! 
And Love for Lightroom and it's magical powers!

Here's a little screenshot of a before and after.


By the way... this is my three hundred and fifty-fifth post!! :P Hence the title, because I had nothing else creative or descriptive. ;)

-MarLeahJoy

Weekend Journal



Oh my... I have a bit of a problem when it comes to videos.
I don't have that much knowledge about how to make videos that really flow and all, but I'm so addicted to making them because I LOVE all the good times they bring back. 

I just finished up a video from my last weekend... nothing that special, but just kind of a weekend at home with a bit of a "to-do" list and then some time at the lake. :P







Then I made a quick video of Hawaii... Most of my videoing was done on GoPro, but I have a good "recap" of Hawaii on just the videos I shot on my Canon 7D, so I just compiled a few of those clips. Someday I'm gonna have to go through allllll of those GoPro videos and try to make a few reasonable videos out of the trip. :P





Ya'll have a wonderful weekend!!

-MarLeahJoy




27 July 2016

Monark



We just finished up our Monark Springs National church camp on Sunday :) I had to work during the week, but all the services I was able to be in were a direct response to some challenges I've been facing recently.



This old tabernacle has been around for so long, but this year they've finally made the decision to build a new one. I'm not the most sentimental about it, but I still love it and find beauty in it :)





Everyone was gathered around on the last Saturday afternoon to watch several people get baptized. I always love our little gatherings to watch the baptismal. It's such a sweet moment to sing songs about following Jesus all the way and watch people take a step in showing the world that they mean to follow along the straight and narrow way. :)


It's always a little hard to crowd around and watch, but it almost makes it more special than doing it inside a church building where you have to watch from your pew.

The rest of these pictures are focused more on my family... But it all took place during the week of the Monark meeting ;)



We had lunch together at our house during the week. And now "we" includes a few more people ;)


So... I'll be honest and say that I'm still processing LOTS of stuff right now, but this is my sister and her fiancee, Marvin. This was actually my first time to meet Marvin in person, but I really enjoyed him and honestly couldn't ask for a better future brother! ;) Lord willing, they plan to get married this Fall! :)



I don't know what to put here, except a huge smiley face. ;D



But, for those who don't know...
Let me introduce you to Tyrel. :)
It was our first time to see each other in person since February, so we've been anxiously awaiting Monark for months! lol ;P  I have loved every bit of the way the Lord has led us along to where we are today as a couple, and I'm excited for whatever the Lord holds for us in the future!! :)


Marty, Alyssa, and my little nephew, Brent.
I'm completely lost in the Auntie world when he is around!! ;)


Happy baby ready to travel home :)



The last night Tyrel was here, we got to watch the huge blood moon rise through the clouds. :)

And now, just looking at this picture, sends my mind back over this whole last week. 
I can imagine the sound of the crickets and locusts chirping as Tyrel and I sat under the old open-air tabernacle and joined our voices together with all the other Saints singing hymns. 
I think of the ride we took in my bug one evening with the windows down... just taking life in the slow lane.
I remember the solemnity of the messages we heard, and the sincerity of our prayers together.
Then I think of laughter.
But also of my queasy stomach and lack of appetite.
And I won't ever forget the sunrise I saw the morning Tyrel arrived at Monark. I had just popped out of bed at 5:40 and hurried around to make myself presentable to go meet him. I remember being a little nervous, but too anxious to even care. When I emerged from where I was staying, I saw the most beautiful, peaceful sunrise. So I walked over to the edge of the field and took a few moments to watch the scene before I headed off the the front of the campgrounds to go meet the guys who had just arrived that morning... Well... I was only interested in meeting one guy in particular. ;)


-MarLeahJoy


01 July 2016

Flashback


If there is one thing I'm passionate about for my mental well-being, it would be documenting... by taking photos, blogging, and journaling.

At times, I document because I'm enthusiastic about it.
Other times, I document simply because I know I should.
But then there are times when I simply can't and won't do it at all.

I've realized lately that I'm in one of those "can't and won't do it" attitudes. Hehe...
So I looked back yesterday to see when I had last blogged. "Hmmm... πŸ€” June 17th for my last post. That's not THAT long ago. There's no need to blog yet!" Ha! Okay, that was half a month ago... πŸ™„
Then today I somehow stumbled across some old blog posts and read quite a few of them from 2014. Woah!!!! Reading some of those was quite interesting.
I've always been a supremely nostalgic person, so being able to re-live moments of my life is just kinda one of the best things. ;)
I had quite a little proud moment there thinking about how many moments I've captured over the last 3 years through pictures and writing... ;)

Lately, I've also been scanning old film prints from my childhood... Oh my!!! I can't even begin to explain how that makes me feel. lol


My daddy has always been unashamedly goofy! lol


My dad's mom, Grandma Carol, and us girls :)


I barely remember this big ole suburban with bright red interior that we used to drive....


Ranelle with two of our great Grandpas (L to R: Albert Eck and Vada McMillan)


Monark with my cousins (L to R: Maddison, Me, Rodney, Travis)


Michael and me doing our typical... :P


Cutie-pie Alyssa at Monark :)



Alyssa and Ranelle showing off their artwork


Daddy holding me on Christmas Day 


Picnic time :)




Daddy made us several swings throughout the years... we always loved them so much!


This is Alyssa and our neighbor friend, Kelsey, walking into my dad's office that he did structural steel detailing out of.



We always loved to go visit him in his office. I remember having a dead bug collection in there that I would play with (it kinda stunk). :P And we would also draw picture after picture and completely fill his walls up with our masterpieces. :)


Matching costumes with Alyssa :)





I love those last two pictures of my mom. I asked her about them recently and she said that Daddy took them of her when they were dating. 


Ranelle and Nanna... This picture describes Nanna so perfectly! She was always right in the middle of things with us grandchildren. She never minded playing silly games with us, like crawling around on the floor playing "Poor Pussy Cat". 


(L to R: Trenton, Ranelle, Darren, Nanna, Me, Alyssa)
Riding on our favorite "go kart" ;)


-MarLeahJoy